I try hard not to, because I was not the favorite growing up - my younger sister, the first child my mom and stepdad had together, was clearly the favorite. I never, ever felt that my stepdad treated me and my older sister differently than his bio children, but out of the five of us (two younger brothers and two older sisters, with golden girl in the middle) she was clearly the favorite. She knew it, we knew it, and she felt terrible about it as she grew older. I think that's actually what has kept her around my dysfunctional mother (my sd died a year ago). There's some guilt over having been the favorite.
I've been lucky in that each of my kids brings different things to the table - dd21 and I have a very intense emotional bond, because she was my first. She can drive me crazy like no other kid, but we also are bonded in a very special way. She feels everything deeply, and you can't help but love her deeply. Dd18 was born on my bday - and has such a sweet disposition - she's the "easy" one, easy to parent, easy to love. Ds11 is probably the most different from me, but he's just like dh so I always feel a special affection for him that's different than the other kids because he truly is like another dh in looks, interests, personality, temperment. And ds9 is the baby - the sweetest, most loving, most affectionate kid. I honestly can't say I feel more strongly about one than the other just because they're all so different.
As far as the financial stuff - we wrote a new will before we got married that treated the girls as dh's bio children (a moot point now, since he legally adopted them). We don't plan on paying for weddings unless we win the lottery, and we will try to pay the same for everyone's college. But - we also do believe that every child's needs are different and I honestly don't believe that a parent needs to give equally. So far we have, but we're not counting dollars. Dd21 lives at home and pays modest rent/utilities (25% of her take-home pay, no matter what that is). She definitely saves there, however, we'll pay more for dd18 in tuition. If ds11 gets a full ride somewhere, we're not going to give him a cash "refund."
Both kids went to the same university for undergrad. We have had provided the same financial support, except that DS's fees were slightly higher than DD's (increase due to inflation). Both were given the same "extra" curiculum support, when they were small.
My parents were always very rational about this.
That must have been terribly hurtful for your DDs not to receive anything when their bio father died. I wonder if he really considered it or just did the typical "everything to my wife" and figured she'd take care of his kids too.
I'm not sure I completely agree w/ everything here.
You would be surprised how different treatment from parents resounds through the generations.